Pierrot and his world: art, theatricality, and the marketplace in France, 1697-1945

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Pierrot, a theatrical stock character known by his distinctive costume of loose white tunic and trousers, is a ubiquitous figure in French art and culture. This richly illustrated book offers an account of Pierrot's recurrence in painting, printmaking, photography and film, tracing this distinctive type from the art of Antoine Watteau to the cinema of Occupied France. As a visual type, Pierrot thrives at the intersection of theatrical and marketplace practices. From Watteau's Pierrot (c. 1720) and Édouard Manet's The Old Musician (1862) to Nadar and Adrien Tournachon's Pierrot the Photographer (1855) and the landmark film Children of Paradise (1945), Pierrot has given artists a medium through which to explore the marketplace as a form for both social life and creative practice. Simultaneously a human figure and a theatrical mask, Pierrot elicits artistic reflection on the representation of personality in the marketplace.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9781526174079
ISBN (Print)9781526174093
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Pierrot
  • Antoine Watteau
  • Costume
  • Theatricality
  • Marketplace
  • Second-hand
  • Édouard Manet
  • Bric-à-brac
  • Masquerade
  • Physiognomies


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